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Banishing demons, one at a time.

Nov 21

We capped off a jolly fun jumpy weekend at the Winter Stars Tour, hosted by Roscrea Equestrian Centre. The short version is that Bear jumped clear, we had a fab time and there was no daffy ducking. So many people helped me today-apologies to the poor strangers who I accosted into giving me a warm up fence and videoing my round-I am so grateful to you. Thankyou for being so kind.

The long version-tune out now if you can’t be arsed with my meandering analyses.

As I said yesterday, I have been working hard figuring out how to ride Bear in a way that better suits her. This past week at home has been a revelation, and I’m very happy to tell you that it seems to have more or less translated to the competition arena, too. If I allow/ask her to take her time to her fences from a quieter canter, she uses her jump a little more-subsequently, for the most part, she lands in better balance. I found today that riding the longer bending lines with an extra stride worked well, but the shorter straight line distances need to be left alone-unless they walk on the long side for her. I learned plenty from her, and she really was such a very good girl. She has redeemed herself after the ‘tantrum in Mayo’ episode, but I guess that was my own fault really-jumping is her dance, whereas actually dancing is most definitely not.

On a personal note, I was just happy that I went to the show and went over the jumps without panicking/running away. As I have said recently, I had been suffering awful bouts of anxiety/panic around going to jumping shows. The last time I attended a proper tour show, I just couldn’t do it. I went home without jumping. I can’t explain it, but this theme continued all summer. I turned around on the way to shows, I entered and withdrew from shows, and I finally talked myself out of being able to go to shows full stop. A couple of weeks ago, I went to Roscrea and jumped a few classes-it’s a good venue for me, because along with building educational tracks, David is so relaxed and encouraging. Sometimes it only takes one person to smile, say hello or whatever to make a person feel a bit better. It’s the same in Mullingar. We are lucky to have good folk and good venues to go to.

Back when I was really into Sports Psychology, I had these mantras that I was meant to repeat all the time. I have never been much good at lying to myself, but I gave it a go. There I was-mucking out, and repeating nonsense phrases to myself along the lines of ‘you are competent’ and ‘you CAN see a stride’. It didn’t last, but after my epiphany a few weeks ago, I accidentally developed a new mantra.

It is ‘I don’t care’. Shortened down from

‘I no longer have the emotional energy or the desire to care so much about so much stupid shit.’

And so far, I have jumped at three shows in two weeks and I haven’t panicked, puked or bolted once. Fingers crossed it continues…..

I only had one minor ‘inside voice’ incident, in the warm up. Bear was going well, and I was just cantering over a low pole to get started jumping. As I turned to the pole, Bear suddenly humped her back. I don’t know why she did, but it was too late to stop. She landed, and then rather horrifyingly, she tried to do the launch/plunge/go stratospheric manoeuvre last seen in 2019-on that occasion, leaving me with broken and displaced ribs, bulged discs in my T spine and a damaged glute insertion. I managed to get a hold of it before she went stratospheric, and I accidentally yelled out ‘OH WOULD YOU JUST FUCK OFF WITH THAT SHIT’.

And then I had to apologise to the very nice ladies doing the warm up fence, who looked pretty unimpressed with my outburst….. #welcometoME

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